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  • All About Cats

    Product Reviews, Behavior, health, humor, quotations, feline facts, news and stories. Read More
  • All About Reptiles

    A look at our cold-blooded friends and discovering how to care for these fun loving creatures! Read More
  • All About Birds

    If the avian life is for you, we've got a look at the best products, interesting species, and how to select and care for birds. Read More
  • Traveling with Pets

    Be sure to check this section out before you hit the road with your pet! We've got a look at pet-friendly hotels, the guidelines of air, train, bus and auto travel, and much more. Read More
  • All About Fish and Ponds

    If you're a novice fish and pond enthusiast, join us as we discover the newest aquariums, beautiful backyards, and plenty of informative information about fish. Read More
  • Walking on the Wild Side

    Check out our animal profiles, rescues, articles, news and profiles - all about wild animals Read More
  • All About Horses

    Learn about equine science, whether you're an aspiring rider or a long-time owner, we have the latest in products, breeds, and more. Read More
  • All About Dogs

    Product Reviews, Behavior, health, humor, quotations, facts, news and stories about dogs. Read More
  • Behavior Problems? We have answers.

    Learn about behavior from our team of experts. Whether you have cats, dogs, reptiles, horses or birds, we can help you learn to live with them. Read More
  • All About Critters

    Take a look at what it means to have ferrets, rabbits, mice, rats, guinea pigs, and more. Read More
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  • Horse Theft: It Could Happen to You

    He received the phone call at 6:30 am on a Saturday morning from the boarding stables. The woman’s voice was sad, even apologetic, as she explained the horrible accident. His horse had colicked and died two days earlier. The woman he spoke to owned the boarding stable, and had been a close friend of the man for a number of years. He had just purchased the horse a few months previously, and it seemed a logical choice to board with the woman. But now he questioned his judgment as she expressed her sadness for his loss. She stated that she had paid a friend of hers to remove the corpse from her property and bury the animal in the desert. Could she please forward him a check for $250.00 to cover the cost of the burial?

    Immediately, he was suspicious. He had just visited the horse the previous weekend, and the mare had seemed perfectly fine. He knew that colic was a chancy illness and could strike without warning. Still, the situation seemed unlikely. He spent the next several weeks investigating the matter. When he asked where the horse had been buried, the woman claimed that she was not sure, as the backhoe driver had taken care of the actual burial.

    When he asked if she had contacted a veterinarian to have a necropsy performed, she said No, it didn’t seem necessary. His questions were unanswered, and his suspicions grew as the woman became obviously irritated with him. Soon, she threatened to contact the police if he trespassed her property during his amateur investigation. He complied, and instead spoke with friends of hers.

    Read More
  • Dog-inspired Beers to Warm up the Fall

    The cooler temperatures have finally arrived, and with the chillier days come all of the local brewfests and Oktoberfest celebrations. They’ve been in full swing all month long, and I thought this would the perfect time to highlight some great beer companies whose dogs have inspired them to frothy greatness, or cater to those of us who just plain love dogs.

    Sea Dog Brewing, located on the salty coastline of Maine, got their logo from their Great Pyrenees, Barney, who served as apprentice brewmaster and the company’s figurehead until he went to the Rainbow Bridge. Great Pyrenees were originally bred to protect flocks, and Barney used those instincts to guard the brew kettle as it boiled. Visit one of their brewpubs in Maine, and raise a pint to the memory of Barney. (I suggest the Hazelnut Porter.)

    Read More
  • Choosing a Ferret as a Pet

    Ferrets are intelligent, mischievous members of the"mustilidae" family, which means they are cousins with mink, weasels, skunks and even the European polecat. These little guys capture our hearts with their antics and are a great addition to any home (as long as you don't live in New York, California, Hawaii or Washington D.C. where ferrets are outlawed). Before you think about purchasing or adopting a ferret, be sure you check your local laws as well as the laws and regulations at local levels (including your home owners association).

    If you've done your homework and you think you're ready to add one of these charismatic creatures to your home, we have a host of articles to help you integrate them into your family and keep them healthy. Remember that a ferret's normal lifespan is 7-9 years, so you need to be sure you're ready to commit that time to this entertaining and affectionate pet.

    Read More
  • Catifying Your Home: Design for the pampered cat

     photo IMG_2167800x533_zps154f0ed6.jpg photo IMG_2167800x533_zps154f0ed6.jpg photo IMG_2167800x533_zps154f0ed6.jpg As you all know, we're big fans of feline design (also known as "catification"). This is a story that includes a combining of households and some creative design from Mountain Cat Trees!

    When Eliza and Tiffany bought a home together in early 2014, they had to merge households. Eliza brought in her four cats (Agnes, Monkey, Judd and Naked) and a dog called Nora. Tiffany brought along her cats, Encore and Pluto, as well as her two dogs, Nova and Bebe.

    That's a big menagerie in anyone's book! Needless to say, the couple was concerned about how this “Brady Bunch” of animals would get along. They enlisted Mountain Cat Trees, makers of highest-quality, natural wood cat trees, scratching posts and cat shelves to help “catify” the new house to make it easier for animals and people to make the transition (read Mountain Cat Trees Inspire Felines to learn about their beautiful products!)

    Today, we're going to show you an entire gallery of their beautiful home and show you how simple it is to create your own home designs.

    Read More
  • 4 Favorite Pet-friendly USA Hikes

    Nothing cleanses the soul more than a day of hiking in an ancient forest with only yourself and your best four-legged friend as company. I don't know about you, but as I've matured, I've gained a stronger appreciation for the simple things in life. While we probably hiked when we were younger, we may not have noticed the rich hues of wildflowers or the tenacity of a wild mushroom growing under the cover of a 200-year-old pine tree... 

    But before you head into the wilds with your dog, it's important to choose your trail carefully, carry a GPS tracker, know your pets (and your own) limitations, and let others know exactly where you’re going and when you plan to return.

    Hiking with dogs requires only slightly more planning. Rules and regulations vary according to trail-head and park areas, so be sure to contact your local forest service before taking your pets along. Start slowly and work into more intense trail heads or you may find yourself carrying an exhausted dog out in your backpack.

    There’s a hike for whatever part of the country you’re in and whatever skill level you’re working around, but these are a few of our favorite day hikes around the country.

    Read More
  • Guide to Hiking Etiquette with Dogs

    Cooler weather is on the way, and as the leaves change their colors to red and gold hues, it means many of us will be once again hitting the trails with our best four-legged friends.

    Let's face it - nothing cleanses the soul like a relaxing hike through the wilderness. Whether you want to enjoy the rich colors of wildflowers in that remote desert valley, or just want to run a few miles through the pines, it’s important to make sure everyone out there has the same level of enjoyment as you do. So dust off the walking stick and renew your wild spirit, but make sure you follow trail etiquette when you take your pets along.

    Dogs are usually naturals on the trailhead. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to watch them carefully - there are plenty of dangers in the wild - from poisonous mushrooms to cacti, and coyotes to rattlesnakes (not to mention hunters of the two-legged variety).

    This is why it’s so important to understand the basics of hiking etiquette. Here's a primer to get you started...

    Read More
  • Keeping You and Your Pets Safe Without Power in Winter

    The weather is moody as a wild cat and these days, no one really knows what to expect. When a cold front moves in, it can easily cause road delays making you late for dinner or freeze power lines and take out heaters.

    That means dangerous conditions for our pets, as well ourselves.

    You already know the basics: Keep your pets indoors, make sure any outdoor animals (horses, cattle, even feral cats) have access to extra calories and warm blankets, as well as covered shelter. I"m sure you also remember that you cold-weather and aquatic pets are going to require extra care until power is restored.

    But, once you get past the basics, there are a few other things to consider, particularly when it comes to birds, aquariums, reptiles and stray animals or livestock. You'll also want to look at some alternative ways to keep you and your pets entertained - and we've got plenty of suggestions for you.

    Read More
  • Dog Etiquette: Leashes

    Recently, we posted on Facebook that we were out walking our dogs and experienced two small, off-leash dogs aggressively running to our much larger, leashed dogs. My dogs were both on-leash and controlled, but I was still annoyed. After posting my experience, I received a lot of responses - some of which were a bit negative due to the fact that one of my dogs looks like a pit bull (apparently I shouldn't be walking him?). Here’s the thing: It doesn’t matter if my dogs are pit bulls or chihuahuas or golden retrievers. In fact, I could have been walking alone, or riding a horse, or walking my cat. The fact is, dogs of any size should never run up on another person or animal without being invited to do so. It’s a common courtesy that could save your dog’s life.

    Here are just a few reasons why...

    Read More
  • 10 Possible Reasons Your Cat Is Behaving Badly

    If your healthy cat is suddenly peeing on your bed or spraying in your office, if he's taken to running around at strange hours of the night, or mewing inconsolably all night, there are several possible explanations. Of course, you must always take them in for a vet check to eliminate any possible health conditions like blockages or disease. But health problems have been eliminated and your cat is still acting out inappropriately, here are some possible explanations.

    Room Deodorizers

    Everyone has probably used a room deodorizer in their home, particularly if they have cats. One of the most common places to put diffusers and other such items are near the litter-box. Avoid doing this! It can cause undue stress on  your cats and even make it difficult for them to use the litter box.

    Solve This: Instead of placing a deodorizer or diffuser near your cat's box, try one of the helpful Litter Box Deodorizers on the market. You can also tape live charcoal on the side or the bottom of the box or sprinkle the box with baking soda prior to putting cat litter inside.

    Read More
  • The FeedSafe Feeding Station for Feeding Individual Diets

    In multi-pet homes, keeping pets out of the others food is of critical importance. If you have a chow-hound who loves to invade your cat's food bowls (or any other situation that requires feeding individual diets in multi-pet homes), we have a solution for you.

    The name of this innovative product is the Feed-Safe Feeding Station.

    Feed Safe is a durable enclosure that easily stops larger pets from raiding your smaller pet's food bowl. Not only does this stop other your dog from raiding your cat's food, it can give critters like ferrets a safe place to eat while they're roaming around in their free time. It can also be easily adjusted to help separate kitten or puppy food from the mama-cat or mama-dog.

    This is also a very useful solution for animals who tend to be slow eaters, or those who are on a prescription diet.

    Another unexpected benefit was being able to keep the cats off the counters! We admit - we have some bad habits and the cats will usually eat their canned food on the counter. This is not the cleanest way to handle the situation, but placing the food on the floor became impossible with our quick acting dogs. This is a great way to let your cats eat their canned foods at their own pace without being on the counter top and without being harassed by larger pets.

    Read More
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RemoteLync Protects Pets Against Fire and CO2

In early July, authorities reported that 14 dogs had died in a fire at a central California boarding facility. In Read More

4 Favorite Pet-friendly USA Hikes

Nothing cleanses the soul more than a day of hiking in an ancient forest with only yourself and your best Read More

Getting Old Sucks - Cognitive Dysfuntion in Dogs (CCD)

As most of you know, we have a dog who has just turned 15 years old. He’s half blind, almost Read More

New Pill Paste for Horses Make Pilling Horses Easy

horse at fencehorse at fenceGiving a horse a pill can be a challenge. There isn’t a horse alive who can’t Read More

Hurricane Katrina – My Journey Back in Time

My journey back to the Gulf Coast for Hurricane Katrina’s 10th Anniversary Remembrance was everything I had expected it to Read More

Healthy Cats Made Easy with #InstinctRaw

As you know, we are big fans of raw food (or at least a form of raw food) for our Read More
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Like us, dogs benefit from stretching: Our muscle cells work the same. This fact inspired the Foster sisters -- Sasha, a certified canine rehabilitation therapist, and Ashley, a certified pet dog trainer -- to apply 20 years of research on human stretching to the canine world. The result is their book, The Healthy Way to Stretch Your Dog. Below, Sasha Foster weighs in on the do’s and don’ts of keeping your adult dog’s muscles supple.

Why You Should Stretch Your Dog

It may help to improve overall fitness Foster says stretching your dog helps maintain joint function. One reason is because stretching produces a muscle signaling molecule called nitric oxide, according to studies on animals conducted by University of Michigan researchers Nicole Lockhart and Susan Brooks.

When this molecule is present, blood flow tends to increase, inflammation is kept in better check, and force is decreased during certain muscle contractions, all of which can aid joints and support limb function.


Stretching may prevent tendinitis

Stretching can also prevent soft-tissue injuries like tendinitis, which Labradors and working dogs are particularly susceptible to sustaining.

Stretching may reduce back pain Stretching can be used to manage back pain that occurs when muscles in the lower back become tight, Foster says.

Stretching can alleviates arthritis Stretching can additionally decrease the achiness and stiffness often experienced by middle-aged to older dogs, and can even minimize the pain of arthritis. “Arthritis occurs when the bones are rubbing against each other in the joint,” explains Foster. “If the muscles are nice and long, the joint is less compressed.”

When to Stretch Your Dog

Stretch your dog two to three times per week for 10 to 15 minutes at a time -- but not until after your dog is at least 2 years old. “You do not want to stretch a puppy because its growth plates are still in flux,” explains Foster. For obvious reasons, you should also avoid stretching a dog with an acute injury. Stretch your dog after it exercises. Research on human athletes has demonstrated that muscles need to warm up before being stretched. That principle is no different for dogs. “Stretching before the body is heated can cause injury. We want the muscles nice and warm -- after a walk or a swim -- before we stretch,” says Foster.

Where to Stretch Your Dog

Stretch your dog anywhere you would do yoga. “Your dog should be in a relaxing environment before you begin,” emphasizes Foster. She recommends that your pet lies down somewhere quiet and that you initially stroke or rock your furry friend before you begin, to encourage muscle relaxation.

How to Stretch Your Dog

Once your dog is lying down and relaxed, put your hand over the joint you will be manipulating. “If you’re stretching the shoulder, put your hand over the shoulder joint in order to relax the muscle. The nerves that turn the reflex off and on know your hand is there and keep the muscle from contracting,” explains Foster. Next, lift the limb parallel to the floor and move it slowly in the direction of the stretch. For example, if you’re working with the shoulder, first move the limb toward the nose -- it should take three to five seconds to get there. Once you’re there and feel a slight resistance, hold for 30 seconds before moving the limb back to where it started and lowering it to the floor. Shoulder and hip joints should ultimately be moved in four different directions: forward toward the nose, back toward the tail, up toward the ceiling, and down toward the floor. Elbow and knee joints can only be flexed and extended. “Joints should only be stretched within their range,” says Foster. “Your dog’s joints do what yours do, so use your common sense.” Foster emphasizes that stretching your pet will not only benefit its physical condition but also its emotional state. “You know how you feel after a good yoga class? Dogs feel that way after stretching,” she says. “It calms them down and just feels good.”

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